Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando Aviation Authority chairman accused of defamation

Hernando County Aviation Authority Chairman Gary Schraut is the second official with ties to Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport to be sued by a tenant recently.

OCTAVIO JONES | Times

Hernando County Aviation Authority Chairman Gary Schraut is the second official with ties to Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport to be sued by a tenant recently.

BROOKSVILLE — Hernando County Aviation Authority Chairman Gary Schraut has become the second official linked to Brooksville-Tampa Bay Regional Airport to be sued by an airport tenant for defamation recently.

Worldwide Aircraft Services and company principal Michael Honeycutt are seeking monetary damages and an injunction to stop Schraut from making derogatory comments about them.

Honeycutt operates the air ambulance company known as Jet ICU. He contends that Schraut told a Tampa Bay Times reporter that Honeycutt and his company were "troublemakers, were liars, were bomb throwers and were like terrorists.''

Honeycutt alleges that Schraut — without naming him specifically — referred to him as part of what Schraut called the "Fab Five," or the fabricating five. According to the suit, Honeycutt determined that he was one of the group Schraut was referring to, based on people he deals with and "recent events at the airport.''

Honeycutt contends that Schraut made the statements to interfere with his business, drive him out of business and take back Jet ICU's leased space at the airport.

The statements could also have been made to bring shame, disgrace, embarrassment and indignity to Honeycutt and his company and discredit them, the complaint says.

While Honeycutt is seeking damages, he acknowledges in the lawsuit that it would be "hard to quantify'' the damage done by Schraut's statements.

Schraut did not return a call seeking comment on the suit.

Several weeks ago, Robert Rey sued Don Silvernell, the recently retired manager of the airport, for slander. Rey, who manages aircraft under the name Jet Concepts, alleges that Silvernell told Paul Douglas that Rey was "a crook, that he doesn't pay his bills and that he is financially incompetent.'' Douglas was considering leasing the defunct air center property at the time.

Rey's suit also alleges that Silvernell told Honeycutt's company not to do business with Rey because he and Jet Concepts were not authorized to operate at the airport. If they did business with Rey, the management and staff of the airport would not support them, Rey alleged.

Because of that interference, Rey says Jet ICU, where he houses his clients' aircraft, has been reluctant to participate in joint projects and that others have been reluctant to maintain business relationships with him.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1434.

Hernando Aviation Authority chairman accused of defamation 08/20/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 20, 2013 6:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. It's not just Puerto Rico: FEMA bogs down in Florida, Texas too

    HOUSTON — Outside Rachel Roberts' house, a skeleton sits on a chair next to the driveway, a skeleton child on its lap, an empty cup in its hand and a sign at its feet that reads "Waiting on FEMA."

    Ernestino Leon sits among the debris removed from his family’s flood-damaged Bonita Springs home on Oct. 11. He has waited five weeks for FEMA to provide $10,000 to repair the home.
  2. McConnell says he's awaiting Trump guidance on health care

    STERLING, Va. — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday he's willing to bring bipartisan health care legislation to the floor if President Donald Trump makes clear he supports it.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says he’s “not certain yet” on what Trump wants.
  3. Tampa's Lance McCullers shows killer instinct in pitching Astros to World Series

    Ml

    HOUSTON — It felt like the beginning on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, the arrival of a new force on the World Series stage. The Astros are back, for the first time in a dozen years, and they want to stay a while.

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) throwing in the fifth inning of the game between the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays in Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Sunday, July 12, 2015.
  4. Jones: Where are the difference-makers on the Bucs defense?

    Bucs

    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — They can't tackle. They can't cover. They can't pressure the quarterback, let alone sack him.

    Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) scrambles past Bucs defensive tackle Clinton McDonald (98) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  5. Bucs-Bills journal: Breakout game for Bucs tight end O.J. Howard

    Bucs

    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — It's obscured by the final score and a disappointing loss, but Bucs rookie tight end O.J. Howard had a breakout game Sunday, exceeding his season totals for catches and touchdowns in one afternoon.

    Bucs tight end O.J. Howard (80) celebrates a touchdown catch with quarterback Jameis Winston (3) during the second half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]